Equatorial Guinea
South Africa


The MIKE Programme ‘Focal Sites’ are sites where the MIKE Programme is providing wildlife law enforcement and management capacity building support beyond the support for elephant mortality monitoring that it has traditionally provided since the start of the Programme.

Mana Pools, Sapi and Chewore


Timeframe: 2014 – on-going

Wildlife Management Agency: Zimbabwe Department of Wildlife and National Parks

Implementing partner: The Tashinga Initiative Trust

Donors: European Union and Government of Japan.







The Mana Pools, Sapi and Chewore World Heritage Site is one of the last truly wild ecosystems left in Africa. Physically protected by the Zambezi River to the north and the steep escarpment to the south, this substantial property of 676,600 ha provides shelter for immense congregations of Africa’s large mammal populations which concentrate on its flood plains.

At time of inscription as a World Heritage Site, the area provided one of the most important refuges for black rhino in Africa as well as a number of other threatened species. Today, although the black rhino has now disappeared from the area, the areas still contain important populations of threatened species notably elephant and hippopotamus, and large carnivores.

Over the last few decades, an adequate budget for the development of key park infrastructure has been severely lacking from Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, which has compromised area management’s functionality and management efficacy in the field. Steps have now been taken to readdress this, but the area remains in need of investment and support if the conservation of its wildlife is to be ensured.


MIKE Programme Support

The MIKE Programme has been supporting the Mana Pools, Sapi and Chewore MIKE sites since 2015 through our implementing partner, The Tashinga Initiative Trust. Activities have focused on the following thematic areas:


Training and Equipment

Support has been provided to hold training courses for rangers deployed throughout the three areas. The courses have focused on providing the basic skills the staff require to do their jobs, including bush-craft and tracking. Basic equipment has also been provided to make working in the field less arduous. Equipment provided to date includes personal gear, such as boots, uniforms etc., and team equipment such as GPS’s.


Protected Area Infrastructure

The construction of key management infrastructure has been supported in both Mana Pools National Park and Chewore Safari Area. Operations control rooms to coordinate patrols have been developed at the two areas’ headquarters, and upgraded at the Chewore North sub-headquarters. Solar power systems have also been installed or upgraded to support office operations in both areas.

Chewore Safari Area Operations Centre, developed with funds provided by the Government of Japan


Patrol Support and Diversification

Support has been provided to enhance the mobility of patrols throughout the site. A Toyota Landcruiser has been deployed to the area to enhance basic patrol operations. A boat has also been deployed to Chewore North to enable river patrols to take place on the Zambezi. Training in boat handling, first aid, and river deployments has also taken place to ensure the proper use and maintenance of this equipment.

Land Cruiser provided by the European Union being used for patrol deployment from Chewore North


Ranger Welfare

Where possible support has also been provided to enhance the welfare and working and living conditions of the Mana Pools, Sapi and Chewore ranger force. This has included the installation of solar power systems, discussed above, and the provision of water to key offices and outposts. Vegetable gardens, basic recreation and sport facilities have also been provided to help staff enjoy recuperation periods between field patrols.

Queen Elizabeth National Park


Timeframe: 2014 – on-going.

Wildlife Management Agency: Uganda Wildlife Authority

Implementing partner: Uganda Conservation Foundation

Donors: European Union and Government of Japan







Queen Elizabeth National Park provides protection for 95 species of mammal, including buffaloes, hippopotami, crocodiles, elephants, leopards, lions and chimpanzees, and over 620 species of birds. The park forms part of an extensive transboundary ecosystem that covers forest reserves and the adjacent Virunga National Park World Heritage Site, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The elephant population in the was reduced by poaching to below 400 elephants in 1988 but has since been increasing steadily over the last twenty years thanks to the conservation efforts by the Uganda Wildlife Authority. The elephant population in the park was recently reported as young and healthy, with over 3000 individuals. It is by far the largest elephant population in Uganda, but still below levels the area can sustain.

However, the park faces a number of on-going challenges. It is bisected by a number of public highways, which combined with a number of villages located in enclaves within the area, make controlling the movements of illegal hunters very difficult. The extensive border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo also poses a continual threat to the security of wildlife and tourists alike.


MIKE Programme Support

The MIKE Programme has been supporting the Queen Elizabeth National Park MIKE site since 2015 through our implementing partners the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Uganda Conservation Foundation. Activities have focused on the following thematic areas:


Technical Support

Through support from the European Union, the MIKE Programme has been able to provide on-going technical support to the management of Queen Elizabeth National Park and the Uganda Wildlife Authority more broadly. This has included the development of a strategic plan to guide law enforcement in the focal area and standard operating procedures to help guide intelligence collection and management.


Ranger Training

Queen Elizabeth National Park had a very low number of rangers deployed to the area during the early years of project support. However, the Uganda Wildlife Authority subsequently assigned a large number of newly recruited staff to work in the Park. Again, thanks to the support from the European Union, and other donors, all of the new recruits received training upon arrival in the area with on-going training programmed.

Marine rangers receive first aid kits and certificates following completion of their training course, funded by the European Union


Protected Area Infrastructure

The MIKE Programme has been able to support the development of the Park’s digital radio network and control room thereby enhancing communications between HQ staff and rangers deployed throughout the area. In addition, the MIKE Programme has supported the construction and operationalisation of ranger outposts designed to ensure that UWA management presence is dispersed throughout the Park. This has been achieved with funds from both the European Union and the Government of Japan.

The Lions Bay Ranger Post, funded by the Government of Japan


Marine patrols

Large parts of Queen Elizabeth National Park are covered by both Lake Edward and Lake George. These lakes present a particular challenge to park management, that has traditionally struggled to maintain an on-water presence to deter both poachers and combat illegal fishing. As such, a number of boats have been both procured and/or rehabilitated, which combined with specialised trainings, have helped address this need.

Niassa National Reserve


Timeframe: 2015 – on-going.

Wildlife Management Agency: Administração Nacional das Áreas de Conservação

Implementing partner: Wildlife Conservation Society

Donors: European Union and Government of Japan







The Niassa National Reserve (NNR) in northern Mozambique is one of Africa’s largest protected areas. It is connected to the Selous Game Reserve in southern Tanzania by the Selous-Niassa corridor. This is one of Africa’s largest contiguous wilderness areas. NNR comprises just over 30% of Mozambique's protected land and harbours the most significant populations of wildlife, including the largest populations of elephant, lion, leopard, wild dog, sable, kudu, wildebeest and zebra. However, the area’s elephant population has come under severe pressure and has declined significantly since the early 2000s.

There are an estimated 40,000 human inhabitants living legally in NNR, mostly dependent on natural resources from the Reserve for their livelihoods – agricultural land, water, soil, timber, non-timber forest products, fish, bushmeat, and some income from tourism-based activities. The area’s huge size, logistical challenges and remoteness, combined with the complicated concession arrangements within the reserve, which includes areas for safari hunting, photographic tourism, and conservation use further complicate the management of the Reserve.


MIKE Programme Support

The MIKE Programme has been supporting the Niassa National Reserve MIKE site since 2015 in collaboration with our partners the Administração Nacional das Áreas de Conservação and the Wildlife Conservation Society.  Activities have focused on the following thematic areas:


Strengthening the capacity and motivation of patrol staff

Support under this aspect has focused on three main areas: improving the field equipment scouts have to support their work; providing training opportunities for all patrol staff, and the implementation of a simple, performance-based incentive scheme. Field equipment has been provided for 150 scouts, and combined with support from other donors, has included sleeping gear, backpacks, raingear, and other basic field equipment. Patrol staff training has been carried out according to the ANAC approved syllabus and is an on-going activity. While the incentive scheme, although not huge, has also had a significant impact on the motivation of the patrol force.


Improving management infrastructure and mobility

The large area covered by the Reserve presents a particular challenge to law enforcement. Under this aspect support has been provided to help both the deployment and coverage of patrols throughout the most important areas in the Reserve, and to enhance the facilities that law enforcement managers have to direct and control operations from the park headquarters. As above, this has included the provision of overnighting equipment to increase the mobility of patrols. At the headquarters, support has been provided for the construction of a new control room, law enforcement office block, and strong room for the storage of contraband and firearms.


Strengthening the contributions of intelligence and community members

With over 40,000 people resident in the Reserve presents both a challenge and an opportunity. The potential contributions of community members living in the area to provide intelligence to inform and better target law enforcement operations. The project has supported the on-going mentoring of Reserve intelligence staff, and the strengthening of the intelligence department informer recruitment, handling, and assessment of information. Human elephant conflict remains an issue in the area; support is being provided to secure fencing to reduce conflict in key areas and for improving communication links between communities and the management conflict response team.

Kafta Sheraro National Park


Timeframe: 2019 – on-going.

Implementing partner: Ethiopian Wildlife Management Authority

Donors: European Union






Kafta Sheraro National Park is a 2,173 km² protected area administered by Ethiopian Wildlife Management Authority and located in the western and north-western zones of Tigray region on the border with Eritrea. Together with the Gash-Setit reserve across the international boundary, Kafta Sheraro forms an important transboundary elephant habitat, with elephants moving across the Tekeze River which forms the boundary between the two PAs. Although exact elephant numbers are unknown, according to the African Elephant Status Report (2016) there are estimated to be around 300 individuals.


MIKE Programme Support

The MIKE Programme has been supporting the Kafta Sheraro National Park since 2020. Activities focus on the following thematic areas:


Strengthening the effectiveness and efficiency of ranger patrols

Although some KSNP patrol staff have received basic training, MIKE support will provide more opportunities for in-service training to ensure that patrol staff are up to date with the latest developments in combating wildlife crime, and to improve morale and commitment. In addition, support will also address current short falls by providing support for the provision of ranger basic equipment and overnighting equipment, as well as transportation to help move wildlife patrol staff on the existing park roads. MIKE support will also address the issues in the supply of patrol rations in KSNP, through supplementing locally procured rations with bulk purchase of key dry ration items.


Improving the capacity of law enforcement operations

KSNP law enforcement managers face a number of challenges in carrying out patrols in KSNP, including the limited number of patrol roads within the park and insufficient patrol vehicles. This situation is compounded as neither of the two outposts located inside KSNP, neither has electricity, water or radio communication (limited water is supplied by KSNP Headquarters in drums). As a result, rangers at these outposts struggle with their living conditions, and are not well motivated to undertake patrols. MIKE support will help address these challenges by supporting improvements to the two outposts inside KSNP, in particular by improving access to clean water and electricity.

Lower Zambezi National Park


Timeframe: 2019 – on-going.

Wildlife Management Agency: Department of National Parks and Wildlife, Zambia




Implementing partner: Conservation Lower Zambezi




Donors: European Union






Lower Zambezi National Park (LZNP) covers 4,092 km² and is located in the south of Zambia along the border with Zimbabwe. As with many national parks in Zambia the area is surrounded by Game Management Areas (GMAs). It lies adjacent to the Mana Pools, Chewore and Sapi areas in Zimbabwe. The elephant population was estimated to be around 1000 in 2016, with additional elephants in the surrounding GMAs, and an additional 7,000 or so elephants in the adjacent Mana Pools, Sapi and Chewore focal site in Zimbabwe.

The park faces a number of on-going challenges, which are linked to a number of factors, notably the increasing human populations around the area, especially in the north, the international boundary, and difficulty in accessing parts of the area away from the Zambezi River flood plain in the south of the area. The area only recently joined the MIKE site network, along with three other protected areas in Zambia, which takes the countries total number of MIKE sites to five.


MIKE Programme Support

The MIKE Programme has been supporting the Lower Zambezi National Park since 2019 through our implementing partner the Conservation Lower Zambezi, and in collaboration with the Zambian Department of National Parks and Wildlife. Activities focus on the following thematic areas:


Increasing park management capacity at key locations

Activities under this project support the development of an enhanced operational presence within LZNP, through the establishment of a new law enforcement operations base that builds on the already existing DNPW station at the Chongwe Confluence on the Zambezi River in the south-west corner of the park. This will be developed in close collaboration with the LZNP Headquarters and the LZNP control room at CLZ. Through additional support for marine operations it is expected to play an important role in implementing both waterborne patrols on the Zambezi River as well as foot patrols


Supporting the effectiveness and coverage of patrols within Lower Zambezi National Park

At over 4,000 km² and with an even larger game management area surrounding the park, LZNP is an extremely large protected area. Much of the area is rugged and difficult to access, especially in the rainy season. The uplands of the Zambezi Escarpment are especially challenging for access, presenting a major challenge for the rapid deployment of ranger patrols in response to poaching threats. Through the provision of vehicles and equipment for improving patrol roads, combined with on-going training for area staff it is hoped these issues can be mitigated.

Tsavo West National Park


Timeframe: 2019 – on-going.

Implementing partner: Kenya Wildlife Service

Donors: European Union






Covering 40,891 km², the Tsavo Conservation Area is the largest conservation area complex in Kenya, and covers over 7% of the entire land mass. The area consists of three national parks: Tsavo East, Tsavo West and Chyulu Hills, and a number of privately and communally managed areas. As the area is so vast, MIKE Programme support is focused on Tsavo West National Park which is bordered to the south by Mkomazi National Park in Tanzania.

According to the Africa Elephant Database, in 2014, Tsavo West National Park contained around 2918 elephants. This number appears to have remained relatively stable or increased slightly over the last 10 years. The Tsavo Conservation area also provided protection for an estimated 120 Black rhinos (some in a sanctuary in the north of Tsavo West National Park, while others that free ranging). Both rhino and elephant continue to face a high threat from commercial poaching throughout the area.

The park faces a number of on-going challenges. Although the area’s vast size is an asset as far as ecological connectivity is concerned, it also creates a number of challenges with regard management. In the case of Tsavo West National Park this is compounded by the international border, and the relatively high human populations surrounding parts of the area.


MIKE Programme Support

The MIKE Programme has been supporting the Tsavo West National Park section of the Tsavo Conservation MIKE site since 2019 through our implementing partner the Kenya Wildlife Service. Activities focus on the following thematic areas:


Increasing the effectiveness and coverage of patrols

TWNP security patrols currently face a number of challenges which are especially acute in the TWNP Southern Sector. This sector has historically received less investment compared to the TWNP Northern Sector, yet the security challenges faced in the Southern Sector are high, in part because of the proximity to the international border and also because of the vastness of the area and the relatively undeveloped access. Activities focus on supporting patrol and intelligence operations coverage through the provision of vehicles, and basic equipment. This will be complemented by support for a training programme for all Tsavo West National Park rangers throughout the project.


Supporting strategic and tactical command of law enforcement operations

KWS already has good command and control mechanisms established in TWNP, especially in the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary and the Intensive Protection Zone. However, there is a need to strengthen these operational structures, especially with regard the introduction of new technology-based real-time operations systems in the TWNP Southern Sector.  Support under this project will help operationalise the Maktau Southern Sector Headquarters and Control Room and improve communications with outposts located throughout the southern sector of Tsavo West National Park.


Enhancing cross-border collaboration and intelligence

The output will support the scaling up of coordinated and joint security patrols between TWNP and Mkomazi NP law enforcement sections. While, TWNP already has well-established intelligence and investigations systems and human resources as well as informer networks, support from MIKE will focus on filling capacity gaps in terms of intelligence and investigations equipment, especially with regard mobility and specialised equipment. Activities will also support improvements of patrol coverage on Lake Jipe, which is bisected by the international border between Tanzania and Kenya.


An initiative of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States funded by the European Union

The MIKE Programme is entirely dependent on donor support. The European Union has been the most important donor for the MIKE Programme and has funded implementation in Africa since its inception in 2001. We are grateful to a wide range of other donors that have also helped support the programme’s implementation.